Clipping Methods by Roy Bloom, CJF APF-I

Volume 3, Issue 1 of The Natural Angle featured a story on clipping shoes using the edge of the anvil. In the step by step discussion in that article we used a clipping hammer, which is similar to a ball pein. In this article, the photos show the clipping process with the clipping, rounding and cross pein hammers as well as a handled bob punch. As you can see from the photos, the three hammers are used in an identical manner. The starting of the bubble using the bob punch is different but the drawing of the clip is the same. The point of this article is to illustrate the fact that the clips you end up with can be very similar- making it a matter of personal preference as to which tool you use to start your clips.

The hammers all require good control to produce a consistent bubble. The bob punch is somewhat easier to control but you have to be cautious not to drive the punch too deep as you may pierce the shoe. The bubble is not always as easy to draw but with practice it can provide a very consistent clip and may help avoid distortion to your crease and nail holes if your hammer control is not just right in the bubble step.

No matter how you start the bubble you need good hammer control when you are drawing the clips. Also keep in mind if you don’t use the edges of your hammer or anvil you will end up with clips that look like toe caps.


Photo 1. Use the tool that works best for you.


Photo 2. Establish a good balanced position for starting your clips using the various hammers.


Photos 3, 4. With each of the hammers, you want to drive the hammer at a 45 degree angle,
directly at the edge of the anvil.


Photos 5, 6, 7. No matter which hammer you choose,
you have to have good control to establish a good start to the clip.


Photo 8. The bob-punch requires a different starting method. Start first by setting the point of contact.


Photos 9, 10. You then slide to the edge of the hardy hole to finish producing the bubble.
Be careful not to drive the punch too deep as it can easily pierce the shoe and leave a hole.
As you can see the bubble is slightly different from the one produced by the hammers.


Photo 11. This is the bubble produced by the hammers, you should flatten the area behind the clip
with the clip toward you and using the heel area of the hammer.
This makes it much easier to see your work.


Photos 12, 13, 14. I like to draw the clips working from the same end of the anvil.
This gives me clearance for the tongs as I rotate the shoe during the drawing of the clip.
In this case I am using the flat of the hammer and the edge of the anvil to draw the clip.


Photo 15. Use the corners of the hardy hole to set your clip base.


Photos 16, 17, 18, 19. You can see that you can get similar results no matter which tool you choose.
The key to consistency is practice and hammer control. The method I use for the hammers, working from the end of the anvil, gives me a nicely balanced position where I can get good control of my hammer and the tongs.


Photo 20. The goal is consistently strong clips no matter what method you use.


This article is from The Natural Angle Volume 5, Issue 2. For more Natural Angle articles and tips, click here.

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